The Economist: America - A flagging [education] model.
“The country that has given the world so many ideas about how to run higher education could do with some new ones itself.” Note also that for-profit colleges are swiftly going the way of the dodo ... and rightfully so. Every ‘graduate’ of these schools I’ve run across has been unqualified. One in particular, the only skill s/he seemed to have acquired was an ability to make dreadful graphics in Powerpoint ... something Lynda.com could remedy for $25/mo, a significant savings over one of those ‘colleges’. Employers need to loosen up on their degree requirements and look at actual skills; I’m reminded of when airlines began requiring degrees of pilots. They lost a generation of some of the best stick-and-rudder flyers in history. Wouldn’t you rather have a Chuck Yeager flying you to your destination? No degree, likely no HS diploma either; unimpeachable skills.
NY Times: A Sucker Is Optimized Every Minute.
“The gut is dead. Long live the data, turned out day and night by our myriad computers and smart devices. Not that we trust the data, as we once trusted our guts. Instead, we ‘optimize’ it. We optimize for it. We optimize with it.” Optimization = pablum.
OpenCulture: Umberto Eco’s How To Write a Thesis.
ArtDaily: Study by Mexican anthropologist says elites’ clash led to Teotihuacan collapse.
Project MUSE/Postmodern Culture: Zombie Apocalypse as Mindfulness Manifesto (after Žižek).
“The terror of the zombie apocalypse is not the xenophobic fear of alien invasion, but the horror of our own radical (and contagious) dehumanization (perhaps resulting from foreign contamination); it is precisely our imagination of the human condition after the death of the ego.” A distant acquaintance discussed arming themselves for the ‘coming zombie apocalypse’ the other day. Some people really believe this stuff. I’ve only had time to skim the article, linked for my audience and for deeper reading later. I feel like a zombie myself sometimes, what with the seeming lockhold of corporations over government. Via always surpassingly excellent wood s lot.
Zenobia: Empress of the East ... elegy for Hatra.
The bulldozers of ISIS continue to advance. Hatrene religion, by my recollection, was a pre-Islamic sun-worshipping culture.
Mashable: The ISIS campaign to erase history
Anyone who has visited temples in Egypt and other ancient locations around the Mediterranean can always view the defacement perpetrated by ‘Dark Age’ Christians ... religious extremism breeds this behavior. KJV: “For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.” Orwell: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
Guardian.UK: Henry VIII’s evidence to support break with Rome turns up in Cornish library.
ThinkProgress: Oklahoma AP US History - Ten Commandments, 3 Speeches By Reagan?
2016, OK AP student: “I aced Bonzo!”
Slate/Inside Higher Ed: Marquette tries to fire tenured professor over blog post.
If blogs are dead and have no value, then what is this blog post doing?
NY Times: How to Be a Stoic.
“Participants in Stoic Week reported a 9 percent increase in positive emotions, an 11 percent decrease in negative emotions and a 14 percent improvement in life satisfaction after one week of practice.”
Slate: English majors are declining in popularity.
I’ve told the story before; everyone I knew on Wall Street, virtually none held ‘practical’ degrees (as described in this article). More English and Philosophy majors than anything else. On Wall Street!
CR4/Blog Entry: How to Get a Photographic Memory.
Archaeology News Network: Ancient skull from Galilee cave offers clues to the first modern Europeans
“The skull has a distinctive ‘bun’-shaped occipital region at the back. In this way its shape resembles modern African and European skulls, but differs from other anatomically modern humans from the Levant. This suggests that the Manot people could be closely related to the first modern humans that later colonized Europe.” Pretty big news, all in all. Surprised more haven’t picked up on it.
Guardian.UK: Tutankhamun’s botched beard: conservation chief demoted to royal vehicles role.
“Last week, her duties included the conservation of one of the world’s most important collection of artefacts, including Tutankhamun’s fabled death mask and jewellery, as well as hundreds of ancient mummies, tombs and statues. From now on her role will be limited to overseeing the contents of Egypt’s royal stables.” A judgment worthy of Hatshepsut.
BBC: Dementia ‘linked’ to common over-the-counter drugs.
Hmmm. “The study estimated that people taking at least 10 mg/day of doxepin (antidepressant), 4 mg/day of diphenhydramine (a sleep aid), or 5 mg/day of oxybutynin (a urinary incontinence drug) for more than three years would be at greater risk of developing dementia.”
medievalbooks: Medieval Speech Bubbles.
Even bubble-less. Clever.
Archaeology News Network: Graeco-Roman necropolis uncovered in Alexandria.
Ooooh. You know that Alexander’s tomb is still yet to be found ...
LiveScience: Mummy Mask May Reveal Oldest Known Gospel.
“Evans said that the research team will publish the first volume of texts obtained through the mummy masks and cartonnage later this year. It will include the gospel fragment that the researchers believe dates back to the first century. ” Keeping my eyes peeled for this one. If there are even minor differences, it’ll shake the foundations of Christianity.
Archaeology News Network: Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’.
The Weekly Standard: Master Class.
“On sparing words, Casey recalls that his agent and his editor both judged a 604-page novel he’d sent them as much too long, so for several months he reworked it, cutting 100 pages but adding a few in the process. When he sent it back, now 640 pages, the agent and editor wrote him, separately, ‘Good. It’s much shorter.’” I love that anecdote. There’s writing, and then there’s writing.
ArtDaily: Skeleton from Greek mystery tomb to be identified next month.
Art Daily: Hebrew U. archaeologists find 20-meter-high corridor at Herodium National Park.
Better and more photos, please.
Later: Two impressive interior photos here.
Chronicle of Higher Ed: Payback’s a Bitch.
“Most other industrialized countries offer free college enrollment because it is an investment in their future, and, in some cases, because it is considered a basic citizenly right. [snip] In the United States, we have turned this essential social good into the cruellest of debt traps.”
Archaeology News Network: Danish Bronze Age glass beads traced to Egypt.
“The analyses revealed that the glass originate from the same glass workshops in Egypt that supplied the glass that the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun took with him to his grave in 1323 BC.” Atenism? Proselytized internationally? Lordy, what a find. This should shake western religion to the core.